Tips when meeting street people

People who are homeless are all around us. For many of us, they are a symbol of deep poverty and of our failings as a society. Meeting the people without homes in your community will help you to look past their situation – to the people they are. It will enrich your understanding of the problem of homelessness.  People who are panhandling may be chronically homeless, they may be temporarily homeless or they may be part of the hidden homeless segment, trying to pay for rent and food.

WHEN YOU MEET A HOMELESS PERSON ON THE STREET:

  • Acknowledge their presence, say “hello”
  • Act friendly, maybe ask “how are you doing?”
  • Listen carefully to their story
  • Become familiar with the programs in your community that aid the homeless
  • Carry fast-food gift certificates
  • Provide a list of shelters
  • If someone needs help, call the Street Help Line (416) 392-3777 / 1-866-392-3777

RESPECT HOMELESS PEOPLE AS INDIVIDUALS:

Give people without homes the same courtesy and respect you would accord your friends, family, and neighbours.

We can make quite a difference in the lives of people when we respond to them, rather than ignore or dismiss them. Try a kind word and a smile.

Recognize that homeless people (and their problems) are not all the same.

Source:

Compiled and Published by: Homelessness Action Group (www.homelessness.on.ca)

Inspired By: “54 Ways You Can Help the Homeless” By Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff

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